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Friday, 11 January 2013

Guest post by Barbara Wallace + Giveaway

I am happy to welcome back to Ex Libris Barbara Wallace, whose last novel Weekend Agreement I LOVED, so when I heard Barbara's newest release, , was a modern day Cinderella/My Fair Lady retelling I was more than excited! :-D Please give a warm welcome to Barbara as she tells us why she chose to build her latest story around classic fairy tales and if you share your opinion, you could even win yourself a copy of !

Some day my prince will come….

Thirty years ago, I began my college admission essay with those exact words. An interesting choice considering I was applying to a very progressive women’s college at the time. (I must have done something right; I got in.)

Three decades later, those words are still interesting to me because they demonstrate how important fairy tales have been in my life. Not just in terms of getting me into a good college, but in my career as a writer. What I find most interesting of all is that I’m not alone. Even after decades of positive feminist progress, fairy tales still resonate with women. Want proof? Just look at the shelves of your local bookstore.

Why are we so drawn to stories based on fairy tales?

Looking around at my laundry, dirty dishes and overflowing inbox, my first instinct is to say we love fairy tales because they capture that sliver of time before real life starts. You know, when Prince Charming is still Prince Charming and leaving his sailing magazines piled on the family room floor. And that might be true. But I think there’s more to the reason.

If you ask me, fairy tales are early romance novels. Think about it. What is an underlying theme in so many of these stories? Love. It’s love that saves the prince from the curse. It’s love that drives him to rescue the princess from danger. Love that brings the happy ending. (Purists and literary scholars will, I’m sure, dispute this theory, but I’m not a literary scholar; I’m a romance novelist and I was raised on Walt Disney movies. I find love everywhere.)

My recent Harlequin Romance novel, , shares themes with two fairy tales: Cinderella and the Ugly Duckling. Roxy O’Brien is a struggling single mother hoping a pile of love letters she discovered in her mother’s closet are her invitation to the ball. Their contents may or may not prove she’s the heir to a billion-dollar fortune. Enter our reluctant prince, Attorney Michael Templeton. Mike needs Roxy’s story to be true as badly as she does. The future of his law practice depends upon it. To help Roxy prove her claim, however, he must first take this cocktail waitress and turn her into the perfect heiress.

Audrey Hepburn as My Fair Lady
Which reminds me - The Ugly Duckling story is another fairy tale I think resonates with us all. We’re all insecure by nature. I know I look in the mirror and my eyes immediately go to the extra five pounds or the bad hair day. (Wow, messy house and bad hair. You all are getting some real insight into my life here, aren’t you?”) I’m betting I’m not alone. What’s great about the Ugly Duckling stories is that ultimately the duckling discovers the swan was there inside all along. Just like when Cinderella goes from ashes to princess. Her true beauty wasn’t her dress, but inside her soul. That’s what the Prince ultimately falls for, and it’s what turns the Ugly Duckling beautiful.

That’s why I love romance novels like . In the end, true love wins not because the heroine is beautiful or had a terrific make over, but because deep inside she is worthy of being loved. We see her overcoming obstacles to find her happy ending and we believe we can too.

By the way, as an interesting side note, my next Harlequin features a heroine who, like Roxy, needs to pick herself up from poverty. She discovers the secret to her finding true love and happy ever after lies in learning to become an independent, strong female. Somewhere my college professors are smiling. Look for The Courage to Say Yes this fall.

Barbara Wallace has been a life-long romantic and daydreamer so it’s not surprising she decided to become a writer at age eight. However, it wasn’t until a co-worker handed her a romance novel that she knew where her stories belonged. For years she limited her dreams to nights, weekends and commuter train trips while working as a communications specialist, PR freelancer and full-time mom. At the urging of her family, she finally chucked the day job to pursue writing full time and couldn’t be happier.

A life-long Yankee, Barbara lives in New England with her husband, their teenage son, and three very spoiled pets.

Find out more about Barbara and her books at her website, on ,  or Goodreads.

For hotshot lawyer Mike Templeton, success is nonnegotiable. So when actress-turned-waitress Roxy O’Brien rocks his Manhattan office with a scandalous inheritance claim that could save his new legal practice, he can’t refuse the challenge. But first he has to “smooth out the rough edges.”One uptown makeover later, Roxy feels every inch the beautiful New York heiress—and, judging by the heat in Mike’s eyes, he agrees! But when their professional relationship becomes a little too personal, suddenly it’s not just her future at stake—it’s her heart….

Buy at  -  - Book Depository


Barbara has very generously offered a copy of  to a lucky commenter!

All you have to do is tell us: Why are we so drawn to stories based on fairy tales? Why do you like them?

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 19 January 2012!

Good luck!

ps. for a chance to win 2 great stories by Barbara Wallace, enter the giveaway at Book Lover Inc.